2014 Watkins Glen Ride

Day 7 And Some Time in Quebec

Day 7

Next morning, got breakfast at a diner. It was pretty funny: lady is at a counter ask "you want breakfast?" I said yes. Then you wait and you get breakfast. No choices, just what you get. But it's what I wanted and what everyone should want: a couple eggs over easy with some bacon and some hash browns and some toast. Breakfast.

Breakfast at Elk Lake

Tried to talk to a truck driver, one of the guys hauling logs at full speed on the dirt roads. Asked him if he knew the forecast for the day. It ended with me thinking those guys really aren't completely human, and if you are hoping they are going to drive in a way that takes your survival into consideration, just assume they're homicidal maniacs instead.

West of Temiskaming Shores is this really beautiful agricultural area in the midst of boreal forest. Crossed over to the Quebec side, and more of the same:

Rt 101, Quebec side of Lake Temiskaming

So like 20 of these, some tradition of blessing the fields or something. The box has a little Virgin Mary in it. With a little research it seems these are Wayside Crosses.

Wayside cross in Quebec

It was a pretty great day, maybe the best of the trip. It threw enough raindrops to remind me it wasn't raining. Beautiful scenery, great temperature. I stopped in several of the towns to look around.

Down the road I see a sign for Fort Temiscamingue, so a u-turn and a short side trip. I get down there, and it costs to get in. I didn't really want to spend too much time there. And then I see that is closed anyways.

But a lady who works there comes running over to me, kinda hyper and very sweet. She points to the Staff Only gate and says "just pull your bike down there". She opens the gate for me and I ride down. She comes behind, opens another gate for me, gives me a brochure and says, basically, "close the door behind you"!

I had the place to myself, and it was FREE! Just because the lady was cool. Damn, I love cool people. Just plain being nice. How can that not put in an excellent mood.

So, I had time for this! It was right on the lake, and the weather and scenery was awesome. It was a Hudson Bay Company fort where they bought furs, etc.

Fort Temiscamingue

Then, there was this odd trail. I almost skipped exploring it, but it went back to this old cedar forest. The trees were all oddly shaped. Looks like it was logged in the Hudson Bay days and these grew from the stump suckers:

Fort Temiscamingue

Then down to Mattawa, but first I had a last cup of coffee in Quebec before crossing back into Ontario. Listened to the old ladies gossip in French, and then one of their adult daughters come by and whine about life in French. Even heard a toddler have a temper tantrum in French. They teach their kids French really, really young.

Coffee at Temiscaming Quebec

Then some sights:

Timber Lake north of Mattawa

Mattawa Ontario

Deep River Ontario

And some "sights"

Joe Muffraw and Marilyn Monroe

And a motel room for the night. I needed wireless, I didn't really know what my plan was from here

Between Petawawa and Pembroke

Why Quebec is Better

In Ontario, the Beer Store closed at 6, and if you miss it then no beer for you.

In Quebec, you can buy beer everywhere. Gas stations and everything.

That should be enough right there. But then there is the French they speak. It is cool. It is not France wussy-french spoken by mimes and fromage eaters. It is gutteral, manly french spoken by beaver trappers and loggers. Pretty damn tough, but classy too.

Everything is cooler in French:

Quebec Movie Marque

Even their graffiti is cool:

Quebec Graffiti

Ontario moose try too hard to be tough:

Macho Ontario Moose

But the Quebec moose has class:

Classy Quebec Moose

But the biggest reason the Quebec is better are the rest rooms. The Quebec roadside rest areas have these nice, clean, quaint toilets. It's like using the bathroom at your grandma's cabin on the Maine seashore. One of them I had read about on someone else's trip report. There is a bridge over a stream getting to the bathroom. Just, well, really worth the trip. I drank lots of water so I could stop at every one.

Quebec Rest Area

Ontario has poo pits in what I expect is military surplus of some sort:

Ontario Rest Area

Quebec is better.

Day 8 to Lake Champlain

Day 8

Next day I slogged through the interstate through Ontario. It wasn't so bad, even fun in it's own way. At one point this car just kinda stayed in my blind spot a bit too long. Just as a got ready to adjust, he comes blowing past me with thumb up, he had just been admiring the bike. Nice

I took a wrong turn and headed too far north, putting me even farther behind schedule. Crossed at Cornwall I think. One funny thing about that. There is this just huge, mammoth bridge over the river that was closed. There were signs for the alternative bridge. It was ... quite a bit smaller. Not really sure what the point of that huge bridge was:

Closed bridge:

Open bridge, the bottom one. The top one is the closed bridge:

Then over to Lake Champlain, and down Rt 2. Got some clams and onion rings, then a ferry back over to New York. I had decided that exploring Vermont and getting to Mt Washington wasn't going to happen. Instead I was going to spend quality time in the Adirondacks and meet up with my Dad a day earlier than originally planned.

Then a campsite at a NY State Park right on the lake. They had a laundromat. I bought a 6 pack of beer and a pizza and ate, drank, swam and washed clothes. Met a couple druggies who talked to me simultaneously about completely different topics, one in each ear. I thought about asking them for a bit of what they had, but they were pretty good anti-drug advertisements, and I wanted to shake them.